5 Houseplants to Avoid

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April 12, 2018

Houseplants have quickly become one of the best on-trend ways to add color and life to your home. It seems like the benefits of having a houseplant are endless — some have been known to regulate temperature in your home, keep your home's humidity in check, and certain houseplants can even help clean harmful chemicals from your air.

We've rounded up the best (and easiest) houseplants for air quality before, and while we're advocates for adding the occasional snake plant or areca palm to your home, we couldn't help but wonder if this craze for adding just about any plant to your home was a truly safe decision.

It turns out there are actually quite a few plants that you shouldn't add to your home — and some are surprisingly common. These plants are known for triggering allergies and causing other irritation, and as we find ourselves in the middle of allergy season, it's more important than ever to make sure your home is a safe haven from allergies, and not the cause of it.

To help you stay safe, healthy, and comfortable as you're hunting for your next houseplant, we've rounded up a list of the top houseplants you should avoid:

1. Bonsai (Juniper)

Bonsai trees can be members of the juniper and cedar family--and the larger, outdoor versions of these trees are one of the most common causes of allergies. Don't underestimate Bonsais due to their size--these miniature plants have been known to cause the same allergy symptoms as their larger cousins, especially in a small indoor area with limited airflow.

You'll also want to be wary of the juniper bonsai specifically, since they have been known to cause rashes for their owners during pruning. If you'd like to keep a juniper bonsai in your home, make sure you have plenty of fresh air and wear gloves while working directly with the plant.

2. Ficus (Weeping Fig)

Although the Ficus is an incredibly common indoor plant, if you're sensitive to dust a Ficus could make your allergies much worse. Ficus sap is notorious for trapping indoor dust and other allergens, which will accumulate over time to a point where it can effectively trigger allergies and other irritations.

3. Daisies, Chamomile, Chrysanthemums, and Sunflowers

Although these flowers are typically common in outdoor gardens, you might be tempted to bring a few indoors during the spring and fall--but pause before you do! These flowers are known for spreading pollen throughout your home, and chamomile and chrysanthemums are technically related to ragweed, which is one of the most common causes of seasonal allergies.

4. Male Palms

Palm plants can be either male or female, and while female palms are considered safe for allergy sufferers, male palms are known to produce serious amounts of pollen.

5. African Violets

African violets have fuzzy leaves, which are notorious for trapping dust. If you'd like to still keep a bouquet in your home, be sure to wipe the leaves often to avoid any irritation.

Take Control of the Air You Breathe

The indoor allergies caused by these plants and more are sometimes difficult to spot because they can be small air particles. The best way to keep track of the allergens in your home is with an indoor air quality monitor, like Awair. Awair tracks toxins and chemicals in your air to help you stay safe and healthy — any time of year.